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31 posts

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  # 647302 27-Jun-2012 23:23
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kingjj: Re electricity prices in Chch, you should be able to get away at around 24c per KWH plus a daily charge between 30-70 cents. Our bill (2 adults, older ex-state house with ltd insulation and electric heating) ranges from $120 in summer to $250 in winter. Wood burners are quite hard to find currently in Chch due to EQ damage and strict rules from ECan (Environment Canterbury) but there are rumours that ECan are going to lighten their stance. Heat Pumps are the norm now, with a good modern unit costing as low as a dollar a day to run.


Good morning kingjj and thanks for your input.  Well the electricity prices are not as bad as I thought, so that's a plus.  We have been looking on Trade Me and have seen quite a few houses that have wood burners in them, but if a modern heat pump only costs around $1 a day then that's fine with us.

Most of urban Chch has ADSL-2, large parts have VDSL and rural Chch/Canterbury has good access to ADSL/Wireless. Fibre rollout has started in Urban Chch with two large areas having access by years end and the rest of the city progressively within the next 5-8 years. There is a cable network covering parts of Chch operated by TelstraClear which is expensive but offers good speeds.


They do say that everything comes to he who waits and although we will likely be taking a step back in time, it's not such a big deal, at least we don;t have to suffer dial-up, golly I cannot fathom how we actually put up with dial-up after having high speed LOL.

I'm not sure if you'll be wanting Pay TV but NZ only has one provider (SkyTV) and the prices will likely come as a shock. A basic package costs around $47 per month with Movies and Sports being extra additions. Adding in a PVR and Basic/Movies (4 Channels)/Sports (5 channels) and your looking at over $100 per month. Free to air offers a reasonable range and is provided digitally (analogue switch off slated for April 2013).


Actually your Sky TV is not that bad, we pay $85/month here for cable TV and we don't have any movie channels or sports, so this may even be something that is cheaper than Canada!

I know some of this has been covered but always worth a re-hash. We look forward to welcoming you to New Zealand and Christchurch.


Thank you

I'm heartened hearing that people actually want to move to Chch considering the last 2 years and hope that you will come to make it your home. While it does get very cold here in Chch (recently -6 Celsius) the South Island becomes a winter playground which makes up for it. Queenstown (our version of say, Aspen) is only 5 hours drive from Chch, ski fields are within 2 hours, large national parks are doted across the country and you never have to go far to find a quiet piece of countryside.


Hey, you can't live your life for what if's and if another earthquake happens it happens, it's a sad thing, but you need to pick yourself up and get on with it.  As long as people are safe then who gives a fig about stuff, it's replaceable.  Minus 6 Celsius, I think we can handle that, if it only got that cold here then we wouldn't go to Arizona for the winter.  Sometimes here it can be minus 40 Celsius....now that's cold!  We don't ski unfortunately, but a bit of peace and quiet is always welcome.  It's such a fast pace of life here in Toronto that we are looking forward to some 'quiet' time.

If you have any questions re areas to live in, rental prices, costs of setting up a home etc please feel free to ask.


Yes I probably will thanks for offering.  From looking at the Google map I like the following areas, Sumner, Cass Bay, Governor's Bay.  I know the quake centered near Lyttleton, but I am from the ocean in the U.K. and gosh do I miss it so I would love to be able to have sea views. I would assume that you are in Christchurch yourself or thereabouts?



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  # 647306 27-Jun-2012 23:50
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oxnsox:
Azzura: ...(snip).... 
I have one bit of advice..if you are buying a house here (or even renting)...rent or buy a well insulated house (walls, ceiling, under floor) with dbl glazed windows and either a heat pump or wood burner (I personally prefer wood). Having a house that is warm inside like you are use to in Canada.... will make it so much more enjoyable living here vs a house that has darn near the same temperature inside as it is outside (trust me).

Some houses (quite a few actually) are about as good at holding the heat in as a Canadian summer camp/cottage. Which is next to nothing.

ROFL...Laughing  Clearly you haven't tried to rent in Christchurch lately... Choice is not something you are spoilt for here.

Just as a background:  Housing in NZ has a reputation, particularly amongst immigrants and visitors, as being of generally poor quality in terms of  it's heat retention and it's draughtiness.  Whilst these are valid points they have to be seen in context.

NZ is a relatively young country ( population in 1882 was ~ half a million, 1912 was ~1million, 1952 ~ 2mil,  1972 ~3mi,  and 2012 ~4.5million ) with a generally mild climate because its a relatively small land mass surrounded by sea (you can't get more than aprox100km from the ocean). This has a great regulatory effect on air temperatures, although there are variations across the country because of it's north/south orientation.

The majority of the housing stock was built after the two world wars in a country that had plenty of natural timber (housing and heating) and coal. Sure the places weren't well sealed or insulated but they kept you dry and it was easy to get firewood / coal  and later electricity (and even oil!!) for heating.

About the 1970 we started actually putting insulation in roof spaces, and later it also became mandatory in external walls.  Double glazing wasn't mandated to be fitted to new builds until fairly recently (I'm talking within the last 5 yrs).

Summary: Yes there's a lot of older colder houses here because they were built that way. And because we've had plenty of room for urban growth(sprawl) there hasn't until recently been much building of new more efficient housing stock on existing residential sites. Mostly we renovate, and when it comes to improving insulation in an 80 year old house there's only so much that is economically feasible against the property value.

OK. Having said that I'll climb down off the soapbox, tuck it under my arm and slink off to the cold windy corner with the tough Kiwi blokes wearing shorts and jandals....



Hahaha, thanks for that oxnsox, it's good to hear you defending your slice of heaven.  Actually Canada is also a relatively young Country, founded in 1867, but land mass is considerably larger of course.  Toronto alone has a population of 6 million people so 1.5 million more than the whole of NZ.  We are pretty spoiled over here compared to many other Countries I guess, but you only have to do the math to see that more people means more demand for things and cheaper prices.  Our building codes here have been quite high for a number of years and I have read how things have been changing in NZ....for the better might I add. 

As I am originally from the U.K. I know what you are talking about with temperate weather conditions.  I come from a place called Portland, in Dorset, a little blip on the map on the south west coast.  It is a small peninsula 8 miles long by 5 miles wide and is also surrounded by the ocean.  It's a very mild temperature there too and rarely gets to freezing.

The rent for houses in NZ seems quite high to what we pay here, but I guess if people are willing to pay that kind of money then house owners will continue to ask for it.  We pay $900/Month for our place here and that includes hot water, heat and electricity and a car parking space.  Yep, we are pretty spoiled I guess compared to NZ.  After everything I have said in all of my posts, that we have good jobs, a union pension, reasonably cheap housing and we get to spend 4 months of the winter in Arizona every year, some people would probably think we are crazy for wanting to give all that up, but what cost is peace of mind?  I'd rather live a simpler life with less, than a complicated one with stuff.  I long to go back to the 60's where life was less complicated, people were nicer to each other and 'stuff' was not as important as people.  I feel that NZ could offer me that way of life, plus I get to go back to the sea, the people are great there so I hear and I think we will have more peace of mind.



 
 
 
 


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  # 647333 28-Jun-2012 03:10
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Mazzie: // SNIP //
I'm heartened hearing that people actually want to move to Chch considering the last 2 years and hope that you will come to make it your home. While it does get very cold here in Chch (recently -6 Celsius) the South Island becomes a winter playground which makes up for it. Queenstown (our version of say, Aspen) is only 5 hours drive from Chch, ski fields are within 2 hours, large national parks are doted across the country and you never have to go far to find a quiet piece of countryside.


Hey, you can't live your life for what if's and if another earthquake happens it happens, it's a sad thing, but you need to pick yourself up and get on with it.  As long as people are safe then who gives a fig about stuff, it's replaceable.  Minus 6 Celsius, I think we can handle that, if it only got that cold here then we wouldn't go to Arizona for the winter.  Sometimes here it can be minus 40 Celsius....now that's cold!  We don't ski unfortunately, but a bit of peace and quiet is always welcome.  It's such a fast pace of life here in Toronto that we are looking forward to some 'quiet' time.

If you have any questions re areas to live in, rental prices, costs of setting up a home etc please feel free to ask.


Yes I probably will thanks for offering.  From looking at the Google map I like the following areas, Sumner, Cass Bay, Governor's Bay.  I know the quake centered near Lyttleton, but I am from the ocean in the U.K. and gosh do I miss it so I would love to be able to have sea views. I would assume that you are in Christchurch yourself or thereabouts?


Wow, coming from as low as -40 degrees Celsius our winters will probably seem mild then! The Canterbury Plains is well know for having cold, crisp, clear and beautifully still mornings, a real treat.

I have lived in and around Christchurch my whole life and have recently purchased my first home in Redwood, Christchurch. Sumner, Cass Bay and Governors bay are beautiful areas, although services to those areas were affected and are still in a very fragile state.



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  # 647334 28-Jun-2012 03:17
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Wow, coming from as low as -40 degrees Celsius our winters will probably seem mild then! The Canterbury Plains is well know for having cold, crisp, clear and beautifully still mornings, a real treat.

I have lived in and around Christchurch my whole life and have recently purchased my first home in Redwood, Christchurch. Sumner, Cass Bay and Governors bay are beautiful areas, although services to those areas were affected and are still in a very fragile state.


That will be something nice to look forward to, the crisp mornings.  Yes, Redwood was another area that I liked the look of.  I did notice that some of the houses for rent in those areas said they were in the red zone.  I read about that and it said the land was subject to liquefaction.  We are still waiting for a number of things to fall into place for our move, nothing happens very fast, but hubby is hoping to get there by August and me probably in December if all goes well as I have a lot of stuff to sort out here before I can come.

What on earth are you doing up at 3.20 in the morning?

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  # 647460 28-Jun-2012 10:19
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Mazzie: 
The rent for houses in NZ seems quite high to what we pay here....(snip)....  plus I get to go back to the sea, the people are great there so I hear and I think we will have more peace of mind.


Unfortunately rental prices have jumped up here with increased demand and reduced supply... and it's not getting any better. You're doing the right thing by keeping an eye on current prices (thru sites like TradeMe) so at least you have a feel fro them when you get here.

If your bloke is working with one of the main players here they'll have folk who can help with that stuff to.

As for the sea.... Christchurch isn't the best place for that in this country. But then it is perhaps more like an English coast, long and exposed. However Banks peninsula has some great little bays that are relatively easy to access, although overlooked by the majority of Cantabrians.....
We're an odd parochial lot, and that is one thing that the rebuild will change for the positive.



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  # 647472 28-Jun-2012 10:30
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oxnsox:
Mazzie: 
The rent for houses in NZ seems quite high to what we pay here....(snip)....  plus I get to go back to the sea, the people are great there so I hear and I think we will have more peace of mind.


Unfortunately rental prices have jumped up here with increased demand and reduced supply... and it's not getting any better. You're doing the right thing by keeping an eye on current prices (thru sites like TradeMe) so at least you have a feel fro them when you get here.

If your bloke is working with one of the main players here they'll have folk who can help with that stuff to.

As for the sea.... Christchurch isn't the best place for that in this country. But then it is perhaps more like an English coast, long and exposed. However Banks peninsula has some great little bays that are relatively easy to access, although overlooked by the majority of Cantabrians.....
We're an odd parochial lot, and that is one thing that the rebuild will change for the positive.


Hi oxnsox, I have actually been looking at rental prices all over NZ and find them high everywhere, not just in Christchurch.  I guess people advertise them with a weekly rate instead of a monthly rate because it sounds cheaper by the week, $500/week, definitely sounds better than $2,000/month......People aren't daft are they LOL!

I'm not sure if the Company hubby will be working for will be able to help or not, they are a very big Company and are in Australia and other Countries as well as NZ, so they might be able to help.  We should be able to find that out in the next couple of weeks hopefully.

Yes, I saw Cass Bay and Governor's Bay on Google maps and they looked charming, as did Summner, but I wasn't exactly enthralled with Lyttleton.  I am extremely pleased as to all the information people on this forum have been willing to give me and offer me and I am very glad I found you all, so thanks again everyone.

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  # 647516 28-Jun-2012 11:19
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I was looking for something on TradeMe and found this http://www.trademe.co.nz/flatmates-wanted/auction-485882401.htm I realize its for a room only but what a place!! Maybe you could share and slowly take over the place :)

 
 
 
 




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  # 647522 28-Jun-2012 11:26
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kiwitrc: I was looking for something on TradeMe and found this http://www.trademe.co.nz/flatmates-wanted/auction-485882401.htm I realize its for a room only but what a place!! Maybe you could share and slowly take over the place :)


Wow!  It looks fabulous and what a view.  So 4 people that computes to $600/week hmmm.  If it was still available when hubby gets there it would be good for him until I arrive that's for sure.  Good idea about sharing and then taking over, I like that idea, but by the time I get there this will be gone.  However, it's something to think about for the future.

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  # 647574 28-Jun-2012 12:59
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I live in Christchurch, and I have a few comments on some of the topics posted here.

Lowest cost internet I am aware of is Telstraclear 'naked' cable (called 'InHome') available in 3/4 of the city ($55.95 for 20Gb). Sounds like you are after much more data though. Most internet providers/plans require you to also pay seperately for a land line.
VoIP with local number and local free calling is $11.50/month with Xnet.

City Firewood for example sell pine for about $70/m3 up to blue gum(best available) at $100/m3.

As for electricity we have 'smart meters' in Christchurch, providing daily readings. Powershop seem to be the cheapest for us, as they have no daily charge, and unit prices are similar to other retailers - 18c/kWh in summer and 26c/kWh in winter. Powershop are a bit unusual in that you can pay for cheaper power ahead of time, and the unit price fluctuates with the season and your ratio of day/night usage.

With regard to buying a house - there are three earthquake related land zones TC1 (Green-Grey Zone) best, TC2 (Green-Yellow) ok, TC3 (Green-Blue) 'worst'. There is Red Zone too, but they are not for sale or rent.
You may find that you cannot get house insurance or a mortgage for a TC3 home, and are restricted to buying a TC1 or TC2, as friends have recently found.
We are TC3 and are stuck with our current (now expensive) insurer, and are also unble to swap banks for a better mortage deal. We are still grateful our house has only minor damage (due to be fixed in 2014, no joke).

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  # 647631 28-Jun-2012 14:20
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Good point by Skolink. Insurance.
When we moved back here last year is was almost impossible to get insurance on 'contents'. (It was suggested that some folk were moving here, waiting for a quake, and making a claim) However I understand this is slowly changing and areas like Amberly, Rangiora, Rolleston and others are now back in insurable zones.

If you just turn up here looking for work expect getting insurance to be hard. If you come here because your work wants you here (ie: you're working for one of the rebuild companies) then there is leniency. Motor Vehicles are OK because you could use them anywhere.

But don't let any of this put you off, Chc is a great place to be and for most life goes on as normal. It's just 'normal' thats changed :-)

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  # 647749 28-Jun-2012 18:17
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welcome to geekzone and early welcome to NZ.

good thread by the way good to see others helping out. As an aside, I was in Christchurch on Friday, was taken through town a place I knew very well but had trouble figuring out where exactly I was with all the damage. Couldn't get to terms with the damage. Thumbs up to the Cantabs for what they have and are going through.




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  # 647923 28-Jun-2012 23:25
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Skolink: I live in Christchurch, and I have a few comments on some of the topics posted here.

Lowest cost internet I am aware of is Telstraclear 'naked' cable (called 'InHome') available in 3/4 of the city ($55.95 for 20Gb). Sounds like you are after much more data though. Most internet providers/plans require you to also pay seperately for a land line.
VoIP with local number and local free calling is $11.50/month with Xnet.


Hi skolink, thanks for your input.  This thread has some valuable information and I will be able to look back on it for some time when I am doing more research.  Naked cable is the same as our dry loop DSL I believe.  I checked out Xnet and they also do naked DSL.  This might be a good ISP for me to go with because I can pay for what I use by the looks of it.

City Firewood for example sell pine for about $70/m3 up to blue gum(best available) at $100/m3.
  That's good to know, but I haven't a clue what m3 is LOL!

As for electricity we have 'smart meters' in Christchurch, providing daily readings. Powershop seem to be the cheapest for us, as they have no daily charge, and unit prices are similar to other retailers - 18c/kWh in summer and 26c/kWh in winter. Powershop are a bit unusual in that you can pay for cheaper power ahead of time, and the unit price fluctuates with the season and your ratio of day/night usage.


I'm wondering why electricity cost more in the winter than it does in the summer?  I understand that twice as much gets used, but it's still the same electricity, that sounds like they are gouging people.  If people are using more then it should be cheaper really not more expensive as their profits must be increasing greatly in the winter.

With regard to buying a house - there are three earthquake related land zones TC1 (Green-Grey Zone) best, TC2 (Green-Yellow) ok, TC3 (Green-Blue) 'worst'. There is Red Zone too, but they are not for sale or rent.
You may find that you cannot get house insurance or a mortgage for a TC3 home, and are restricted to buying a TC1 or TC2, as friends have recently found.
We are TC3 and are stuck with our current (now expensive) insurer, and are also unble to swap banks for a better mortage deal. We are still grateful our house has only minor damage (due to be fixed in 2014, no joke).


I don't think we would buy a house until we became permanent residents and hopefully by that time there may not be so many different zones.  Actually, I have seen red zone properties for rent on Trade Me, maybe they shouldn't be renting them, but people are. 

2014, wow that's a long time.  I have never been a fan of insurance myself, in Canada it's a huge rip off and may be the same in other Countries, the only people who get rich from Insurance are Insurance Companies.  The concept is great, but when it comes to paying out anything, well that's another matter so I hear.  Personally I have never made an insurance claim ever in my life, but I don't think I would want to try either.



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  # 647928 28-Jun-2012 23:44
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oxnsox: Good point by Skolink. Insurance.
When we moved back here last year is was almost impossible to get insurance on 'contents'. (It was suggested that some folk were moving here, waiting for a quake, and making a claim) However I understand this is slowly changing and areas like Amberly, Rangiora, Rolleston and others are now back in insurable zones.


Yes, I can see that the scenario you wrote about here could very well be suggested....probably by insurance Companies themselves.  This is just the kind of thing I mean when I say insurance is a big rip off.  That's ridiculous though, why would anyone want to get their possessions damaged intentionally, that doesn't make much sense to me, unless of course they have crap stuff and want to exchange it for new.  If that's the case then people are just shooting themselves in the foot because everyone will end up paying more in the end.

I find that with this Country, people have a little fender bender and then try and claim thousands of dollars, if not millions, from insurance Companies for personal injuries, they just don't seem to realize that the more they claim the more we all pay.  Our car insurance is retarded, both my hubby and I have 9 years no claims, (the maximum) no accidents or convictions and 3rd party only insurance costs us almost $3,000/year.  Our vehicles are only worth about that between them.  It doesn't make any sense, but car insurance is mandatory here.  I heard that car insurance in NZ is not mandatory, but optional. If that's true, I am not sure I agree with that, but prices should be reasonable not ridiculous like ours.  Also, we have no fault insurance, so it doesn't matter whose fault it is, both parties get penalized for an accident and then your insurance rates go up.  Oh, I had better shut up, insurance really is one of my biggest peeves.

If you just turn up here looking for work expect getting insurance to be hard. If you come here because your work wants you here (ie: you're working for one of the rebuild companies) then there is leniency. Motor Vehicles are OK because you could use them anywhere.


Well, I am not sure if people just turn up looking for work, but that's something we would never do.  It's a huge step moving to another Country and if people don't get all their ducks in order before they go then they are going to find everything incredibly difficult, not just getting insurance.  I like to be organized as you may or may not be able to tell from this thread.  My hubby has a job to come to, not with a rebuild Company, but with a Company that has been established in NZ, Australia and other Countries worldwide for a number of years.  They have said that they will probably have a job for me too when I get there which will be great.

But don't let any of this put you off, Chc is a great place to be and for most life goes on as normal. It's just 'normal' thats changed :-)


Hey, this has definitely not put me off, it's always good to have two sides of any story, that's what you call real life and I appreciate any and all advice, thanks.

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  # 647929 28-Jun-2012 23:47
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Mazzie,

It takes roughly 3.6m3 to equal a cord of wood. A cord of wood in Canada...well in NB is roughly $225. Cord of wood is 4ftx4ftx8ft. Maybe that helps you figure it out?

Heheh buying in bulk eh - shopping in NZ isn't like shopping or when you buy at Cosco or a Canadian grocery store (it's a little different here in NZ stores).



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  # 647931 28-Jun-2012 23:54
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jeffnz: welcome to geekzone and early welcome to NZ.

good thread by the way good to see others helping out. As an aside, I was in Christchurch on Friday, was taken through town a place I knew very well but had trouble figuring out where exactly I was with all the damage. Couldn't get to terms with the damage. Thumbs up to the Cantabs for what they have and are going through.


Hello jeffnz and thank you for the early welcome.

I agree with you, this thread is extremely interesting.  I have never been one to spend much time on forums, because I have found that many of them have a lot of people who don't have particularly intelligent answers for questions that are asked, unlike this forum whose participants seem highly intelligent and it's great to have a 'conversation' with you all here.

One thing I do find about forums is that the thread always changes quite dramatically, you start off asking one question and end up talking about completely different things, this thread is not much different, but everything that has been discussed has been wonderfully helpful and I think that's why I am enjoying it so much.

I'm sorry to hear that Christchurch has been damaged to such an extent that parts of it are unrecognizable.  People do rally together in a disaster and from the things I have read in your newspapers all New Zealander's have certainly done that and you all deserve a thumbs up.

The more I chat on here, the more I am looking forward to coming.

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